Friday, November 18, 2022

From Ian:

Gil Troy: Theodor Herzl was gone, but his message survived
Editor’s note: Excerpted from the new three-volume set “Theodor Herzl: Zionist Writings” edited by Gil Troy, the inaugural publication of The Library of the Jewish People, now available at This is the 11th in a series.

In 1897, Theodor Herzl essentially described himself when he wrote about a man who once “deep in his soul felt the need to be a Jew,” and who, reeling from Jew-hatred, watched “his soul become one bleeding wound.” Finally, this man “began to love Judaism with great fervor.”

In this short story, “The Menorah,” Herzl saluted his step-by-step Judaization and Zionization. Celebrating Hanukkah, he delighted in the “growing brilliance” candle by candle, gradually generating more and more light.

The “occasion became a parable for the enkindling of a whole nation.” Flipping from the reluctant, traumatized Jew he had been to the proud, engaged Jew he was surprised to see in the mirror, Herzl admitted: “When he had resolved to return to the ancient fold and openly acknowledge his return, he had only intended to do what he considered honorable and sensible. But he had never dreamed that on his way back home he would also find gratification for his longing for beauty. Yet what befell him was nothing less.”

Herzl concluded: “The darkness must retreat.”

Seven years later, Herzl spelled out Zionism’s dynamic power, its spillover effects. “For inherent in Zionism, as I understand it, is not only the striving for a legally secured homeland for our unfortunate people, but also the striving for moral and intellectual perfection,” he wrote.

This vision made Herzl a model liberal nationalist. He believed that “an individual can help himself neither politically nor economically as effectively as a community can help itself.”
Mark Regev: Did Israel's famed diplomat Abba Eban lack clout back home?
The 20th anniversary of the passing of Israel’s legendary foreign minister Abba Eban on November 17 is an opportunity to ask whether the acclaimed diplomat, with his stellar global reputation, was as effective in defining Israeli policy as he was in advocating it abroad.

An outstanding student at England’s Cambridge University, Eban graduated in 1938 with an exemplary triple first, positioning him to pursue a lifetime career as a respected academic.

But the South Africa-born Eban could not sit out the impending world crisis that would so heavily impact the Jewish people. Drawn to Zionism, he worked at the London headquarters of the World Zionist Movement under the leadership of Chaim Weizmann (who later became Israel’s first president).

With the outbreak of World War II, Eban joined the British military to fight the Nazis, serving as an intelligence officer in Mandatory Palestine. Discharged at the end of the war, Eban joined the staff of the Jewish Agency’s political department and was sent to New York where he became the Jewish Agency’s liaison with the UN’s Special Committee on Palestine, helping steer it toward recommending Jewish statehood. Subsequently, Eban was part of the lobbying effort that produced the necessary two-thirds majority General Assembly vote for partition on November 29, 1947.

After successfully orchestrating Israel’s acceptance to the UN in May 1949, Eban became the Jewish state’s permanent representative to the organization. In parallel, he also served as Israel’s ambassador to the US, concurrently working in both Washington and New York throughout the 1950s.

Eban was a celebrity. His remarkable intellectual and oratorial prowess made him one of the foremost English speechmakers of the period, on a par with Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. Henry Kissinger wrote: “I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language. Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity.”
Howard Jacobson: Ulysses Shmulysses
Homeric he is not; but a hero for our time he is. Ulysses is first and foremost a comedy of exile. Joyce wrote it while living in Trieste, Zurich, and Paris. That Dublin went on calling to him throughout the years he lived elsewhere is clear from the novel’s intense recreation of the city’s bursting vitality. But novelists thrive on being away, and Joyce needed to be anywhere but Dublin, free from Irish politics, the church, and his own memories of personal and professional failure. Leopold Bloom is not given that choice; Joyce does not buy him a ticket from Dublin to Tiberias. But he is already, in his Jewishness, exile enough for Joyce. Behind the epic figure of Odysseus, in this novel, looms the shadow of the mythical Wandering Jew who, for having jeered at Jesus on the way to the cross, is doomed to roam the earth until the end of human time. Call him a figment of early Christian antisemitism. And while antisemitism isn’t a major theme in Ulysses, it shows itself with some unexpected savagery from time to time as in the figure of the headmaster Mr. Deasy who gets a kick out of declaring “Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the Jews … and do you know why? She never let them in. That’s why.” “That’s not life for men and women,” Bloom responds, “insult and hatred.” Those who are not let in, must find somewhere else to go.

This has been in large part the Jewish story for 2,000 years. And the homeless Jew is the metaphorical undercurrent of Ulysses. Joyce is said to have worked up the the character of Leopold Bloom from the Jews he met in the course of his own wanderings in Trieste and Zurich. He must have studied them attentively, for Bloom is no mere token Jew. In his queer lapses from Judaism, mistaking words and confusing events, he is every inch the part-time, no longer practicing Jew, making the best of the diaspora, more Jewish to others than to himself.

And in him, unexpectedly but triumphantly, Joyce sees a version of his own rejections and rebuffs. Without going into what we know or think we know of Joyce’s own sexual predilections, it is accepted that there are similarities between Bloom’s submissiveness and his creator’s, and that Joyce chose Bloom’s Jewishness as the perfect vehicle to express the passive, much put-upon and all-suffering openness to life that he needed to drive—or, rather, be driven by—this novel. At home in being far from home, content to be cuckolded and remaining in love with the wife who cuckolds him, pessimistic and yet happy enough, dialectical, pedantic—in one lunatic scene he morphs into “The distinguished scientist Herr Professor Luitpold Blumenduft who tendered medical evidence to the effect that the instantaneous fracture of the cervical vertebrae and consequent scission of the spinal cord would, according to the best approved tradition of medical science … produce in the human subject a violent ganglionic stimulus of the nerve centre”—Bloom makes being a stranger in a strange land an enticing condition.

One of the best jokes made about Bloom is that he was once a traveler for blotting paper. His absorbency might not make him the most forceful husband for Molly, but it is the key to the novel’s plenty. With Bloom around to soak in every misadventure without complaint, there’s no limit to what Joyce might plausibly invent. Ulysses first appeared in 1922. Worse things than exile were still to happen to Jews. And for many novelists in the ensuing years, the Jew would become the perfect protagonist, the very model of humanity in extremis—homeless, tragic, patient, funny. But James Joyce got there first.
La Revue Blanche
The Dreyfus affair was not the only social battle in which the Revue engaged. In 1897, across two issues, it published a remarkable “Enquete sur la Commune,” a series of brief, firsthand accounts of the great uprising of 1871 whose specter still haunted France. A century and a half later it remains one of the best accounts of that event.

The repressive legislation passed in response to the anarchist bombing wave of the early 1890s, laws which effectively banned anarchist propaganda and activity of any kind, was harshly criticized in the pages of La Revue blanche. The strongest criticism was an article signed “Un Juriste.” The author described the legislation as, “Everyone admits that these laws never should have been our laws, the laws of a republican nation, of a civilized nation, of an honest nation. They stink of tyranny, barbarism, and falsehood.” The pseudonymous author was the future three-time prime minister of France, Léon Blum.

An 1898 volume of anti-militarist articles released by the review’s book publishing arm, provocatively titled L’Armée contre la Nation (the army against the nation) would lead the minister of war to press a charge of defamation against the publishers, a charge the Natansons were able to successfully defend themselves against by claiming the book contained nothing but articles that had already been published elsewhere and not been found criminal.

By the turn of the century French intellectuals began withdrawing from the political field. Charles Péguy later described the letdown felt during and after the Dreyfus affair by lamenting that “everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.” At the same time, the editorial staff and stable of writers at the review had turned over several times. One of its later editors, Urbain Gohier, was a barely disguised antisemite who would become an important figure on the anti-Jewish fringe. Yet the quality of the contributors was still high. If Mallarmé’s poetry no longer appeared in its pages, the young Guillaume Apollinaire did. Alfred Jarry became a regular contributor, the Revue publishing his masterpiece, Ubu Roi, as well as Octave Mirbeau’s classic Diary of a Chambermaid, serially and in book form by its Editions de la Revue blanche. That enterprise also published what is considered to be France’s first bestseller, a translation of—of all things—the Pole Henryk Sinkiewicz biblical epic Quo Vadis.

By the first years of the 20th century only one Natanson brother, Thadée, remained on the magazine. Embroiled in a lengthy divorce, he seemed to have grown tired of the magazine. It was losing money, but then, according to Thadée’s wife, later famous as Misia Sert, that had always been the case. In 1903 La Revue blanche published the last of its 237 issues. Its closing was in no way an indication of failure. It had set out to be the voice of a new France, of a more open country, both politically and culturally, and was, in the end, both its begetter and its voice.

BBC broadcasts folksongs that glorify attacks on Jews
The BBC has broadcast folksongs that glorify attacks on Jews and call for bloodshed, the JC can reveal.

One of the songs, aired on its Arabic language service — which has 36 million viewers — is addressed to Palestinian militants.

Translated by Media Watchdog Camera Arabic, the song says: “The force in your hand is your right. Don’t leave your weapon in its sheath… From the Jerusalem mountains and from the plain, your blood, should it be shed on the earth, would make red freedom bloom.”

Failing its own impartiality tests: the BBC

A BBC presenter can be seen in the studio, nodding and filming the bloodthirsty performance on his phone, which was aired on the BBC Xtra series to mark “Nakba Day” in May.

In an interview before the rendition, musician Ashraf Sholi made it clear that his song was intended to energise the “resistance” movement, undermining those who “lean towards a blind peace” or “anyone who normalises [with Israel].”

The smiling BBC presenter made no serious attempt to challenge Mr Sholi’s statements.

Another song, which tells the story of a militant knocking on his mother’s door before he launches an attack, was broadcast in October on an Arabic version of Loose Women called Dunyana, or “Our World”.

The guest presenter, Mira Sidawi, who sang the song as guests clapped along, was billed as being from “Palestine”, a highly politicised move that contravenes BBC guidelines, as there is no such state.

Caryl Churchill's awards cancellation is something to celebrate
I have no idea if Caryl Churchill is an antisemite. I am sure some of her best friends are Jewish. But if you ask me if she, as it were, prefers ham to heimish…well I’ve not got a clue.

But what I do know is that she is the author of what I believe to be one of the most vile, Jew-baiting antisemitic plays ever to have been staged in Britain: Seven Jewish Children, performed at the Royal Court in 2009.

Indeed it has always seemed to me that, however much she went through the motions in saying otherwise, the title made it quite clear that Churchill wanted her screed to be seen as being about how vile Jews are; she did not even bother with the usual diversionary tactic of calling it Seven Zionist Children, or Seven Israeli Children. Seven Jews it was.

I rehash this well-trodden ground because Ms Churchill and her 2009 outpouring of Jew-hate are in the news again. This time, however, it is for the most uplifting, even joyous, of reasons.

In April Churchill was awarded this year’s European Drama award, a prize of £65,000 (the biggest of its type in Europe) from Schauspiel Stuttgart, sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg ministry of science, research and arts. So far, so unsurprising; the habit of cultural bodies to choose with laser-like accuracy the most inappropriate winner of an award is hardly newsworthy.

But this is where it gets fun. Earlier this month the panel which made the award to Churchill decided to cancel it, saying they had been “made aware of previously unknown information”, and citing “the author’s signatures in support of boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS]…The play Seven Jewish Children can also be regarded as being antisemitic. Therefore, to our great regret, the jury has decided not to confer the prize this year.”

Blow me down with a feather.
Guardian again legitimises antisemitic play
The letter, posted on the website of Artists for Palestine, is signed by the usual Israel haters – the same radical fringe whose voice the Guardian always amplifies. Artists for Palestine, of course, advocates for BDS, a “modern-day McCarthyism” that often advocates for the cancelling and boycotting of Israeli artists, writers and academics.

Sherwood then writes:
Seven Jewish Children was written in 2009 in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, a three-week conflict in Gaza during which at least 1,383 Palestinians, including 333 children, were killed, according to Amnesty International. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, also died during the conflict.

Churchill’s 10-minute play was hailed by some critics but heavily criticised by others, including the Jewish Chronicle’s reviewer, who labelled it antisemitic.

On Thursday, Churchill said the play was about “families wanting to protect children and wondering what to tell them about terrible things, a pogrom, the Holocaust, finally the bombing of Gaza.

“It is critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians; it is not an attack on all Jews, many of whom are also critical of Israeli policy. It is wrong to conflate Israel with all Jews. A political play has made political enemies, who attack it with slurs of antisemitism.”

As the CST noted, “The Guardian [in 2009] published a positive review of the play by Susannah Clapp, two by Michael Billington and even produced its own video version of the play which is still available to view on the Guardian website.”

But, despite Sherwood’s framing, it wasn’t only the Jewish Chronicle that called it antisemitic.

Mark Gardner and Dave Rich of the CST not only argued it was antisemitic by “slander[ing] Jews as being psychologically compelled to become the new Nazis”, but that it evoked the ancient blood-libel. The blood libel characterisation of the play was echoed by both Anthony Julius (the famed barrister and author of Trials of the Disapora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England) and the late antisemitism scholar Robert S. Wistrich.

Award-winning British author Howard Jacobson similarly found in the play echoes of the ancient accusation that Jews have a particular bloodlust for the murder of non-Jewish children, writing the following in an op-ed at the Independent:
Thus lie follows lie, omission follows omission, until, in the tenth and final minute, we have a stage populated by monsters who kill babies by design – “Tell her we killed the babies by mistake,” one says, meaning don’t tell her what we really did – who laugh when they see a dead Palestinian policeman (“Tell her they’re animals… Tell her I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out”), who consider themselves the “chosen people”, and who admit to feeling happy when they see Palestinian “children covered in blood”.

“Anti-Semitic”?, Jacobson asks rhetorically. No, he answers, “just criticism of Israel”.

Warnock’s Church Belongs to Coalition That Wants to End Military Aid to Israel
Georgia Democratic senator Raphael Warnock’s church, where he serves as senior pastor and CEO, belongs to a coalition of far-left congregations that is calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.

Warnock’s Ebenezer Baptist Church is listed as a member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, a left-wing Baptist denominational group that has been a staunch critic of the Jewish state. The senator gave the keynote speech at the PNBC’s annual conference last year, where it passed a resolution accusing Israel of "apartheid" and "ethnic cleansing."

Warnock’s affiliation with the PNBC comes nearly two years after he faced criticism from the Jewish community for signing on to a statement, published by the same organization, that compared Israel to apartheid South Africa. In response to the controversy, Warnock’s campaign said he supported the U.S.-Israel relationship and "opposes ending direct military aid to such a strong ally."

Despite Warnock's own history of anti-Israel statements, such as accusing Israel of shooting unarmed Palestinians "like birds of prey," he pivoted on the campaign trail in 2020 and positioned himself as a supporter of the Jewish state. But his church’s ongoing membership in the PNBC—and Warnock’s decision to headline its annual gathering last year—could reignite questions about his views.

Danielle Repass, the press secretary for the Georgia Republican Party, told the Washington Free Beacon that Warnock’s involvement with the group is in line with his "relentless history of anti-Israel speech."

"Time and time again, Raphael Warnock proves that he is irreconcilably out of touch with Georgians," said Repass.

Warnock served as the PNBC’s social justice committee chairman until 2018, according to the group’s newsletter. The organization has been pushing the U.S. government to cut off military aid to Israel since at least 2019.
Columbia professor’s attempt to delegitimize Jews backfires—again
“European Jews, like European Christians, are converts to these strange Palestinian religions,” declared Columbia University professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history Joseph Massad on Nov. 11 in Washington, D.C. This well-known antisemite’s assertion that Jews in the Western diaspora have no ethnic ties to the historic Jewish nation was merely one howler among many in his anti-Israel keynote address to the Palestine Center’s annual conference.

His talk, entitled “Jewish Self-Determination in the Land of the Palestinians,” is part of the decades-long attempt by academics to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state by denying that modern Jews are the descendants of the ancient Hebrews. What they lack in facts, goodwill, and honest scholarship, they try (and fail) to make up for in hatred and vitriol.

In this case, Massad promoted the discredited theory that Ashkenazi Jews in Europe are the descendants of converts to Judaism. “If the European Jewish converts somehow claim to be descendants of the early Jews of Palestine, then why are European Christians also not claiming that they are descendants of the early Palestinian Christians,” he analogized. The obvious answer is that Christianity is a proselytizing religion transmitted via baptism, not lineage, and its spread among gentiles (non-Jews) throughout the Mediterranean world meant that its adherents represented myriad genetic pools: Greek, Roman, Germanic, Celtic and more. Massad also failed to explain why Jews throughout history have endured so much repression, including Nazi genocide, if their identities as Jews stemmed from religious practices alone.

Moreover, roughly half of Israel’s Jewish population does not descend from the Jewish diaspora in Europe and the Americas. Rather, these Mizrahi Jews descend from Jews who fled Muslim repression in the Middle East and North Africa after Israel’s creation in 1948, a fact that completely debunks Massad’s European colonial narrative about Israel. Massad offered no analysis of whether these Jews, who have their own indigenous history of Zionism, simply hail from converts in the Middle East.
Kanye West’s Antisemitism Makes Us Stronger
Jews have never had the luxury of deciding who we are, because throughout every century, the world decided to persecute us and tell us who we were, depending on what suited their needs at that time. Today, in the US, to the far left we have “white privilege” and to the far right, we are an inferior race. While we have traditionally allied with other marginalized groups and have fought for social justice, co-founding almost every civil rights organization in this country, it seems that we no longer have the support of many minority groups in large part due to antisemitic propaganda that has infiltrated the mainstream dialogue.

Year after year, the FBI reports that antisemitism makes up the highest percentage of religious hate crimes in the United States. That’s deeply troubling, considering that Jews only make up 2% of the US population. In the last few weeks alone, we are seeing Nazi salutes, signs that say satanic Jews control the world, and all kinds of antisemitic hate across the country, even in big cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Recently, at a college football game in Florida, we saw a digital banner that said “Kanye was right about the Jews.” We have been blamed for Covid, and we are seeing rampant antisemitism at universities, where college kids have had to remove any signs that identify them as Jewish in fear of violence against them.

In a sense, what Kanye said might be good for the Jews and a blessing in disguise, because he brought Jewish hate and the normalization of antisemitism to the forefront, opening the door to media coverage and education. It’s also allowed us to shine the bright light of day on so many people who had been trying to hide their antisemitism.

The Jewish people need to look at this through the lens of history, and fight everyday against those who would attempt to spread vicious stereotypes about us, including denying our right to a Jewish homeland by claiming Israel is a racist and colonial endeavor.

We should never have to apologize for being Jewish, or for making contributions that have helped to make the world a better place. We should be celebrated for being awarded close to 25% of Nobel Peace Prizes instead of being accused of world dominance.

For thousands of years, civilizations have tried to exterminate us, but we are still here. We are only 0.2% of the global population, but we aren’t going anywhere. We won’t cower; we will fight back if necessary. So to those that hate us, keep doing what you are doing, because it only makes us stronger.
Jon Stewart, other Jewish comedians weigh in on Dave Chappelle’s ‘SNL’ monologue
Prominent Jewish comedians have begun to weigh in on fellow comic Dave Chappelle’s “Saturday Night Live” monologue in which he joked about Jews running Hollywood.

The verdict from his peers has been mixed after Chappelle delivered a 15-minute set that the head of the Anti-Defamation League said appeared to “normalize” and “popularize” antisemitism.

Hannah Einbinder, a Jewish comedian and star of HBO’s “Hacks,” said in an Instagram story Tuesday that Chappelle’s monologue was “littered with antisemitism.”

“Bigoted people will often couch their bigotry in a degree of truth,” Einbinder wrote. “They’ll tell you two great things, and then they slip the lie in, because they’ve earned your trust with the two great things they’ve told you.”

“No one who laughs at the solid jokes would be willing to admit that there was antisemitism in that monologue, because that admission would then qualify them as complicit,” she added.

In his “SNL” set, Chappelle — who has been widely criticized for the high volume of transphobic jokes in his most recent specials — poked fun at rapper Kanye West, who had tweeted a threat in October to “go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” after a week in which he shared various antisemitic tropes about money and power.

But Chappelle also leaned into those tropes in his monologue, saying that it is “not a crazy thing to think” that Jews exert outsized influence in Hollywood and on media discourse.

Chappelle also suggested that Kanye had violated Hollywood’s “rules of perception,” saying, “If they’re Black, then it’s a gang. If they’re Italian, it’s a mob. But if they’re Jewish, it’s a coincidence and you should never speak about it.”

BBC republishes disappeared ‘Israel and the Palestinians’ style guide
Readers may recall that in early 2021 the BBC decided to remove the BBC Academy’s guide for journalists reporting on ‘Israel and the Palestinians’ from public view on the BBC Academy website:
“As part of a broader strategy to move BBC Academy training content to focus internally and on skills not editorial content we identified for removal a wealth of content, particularly the editorially led, internationally focussed style guides as these do not fit the remit of internal skills training which is now the strategic focus of the BBC Academy. The article you are referring to has been removed as part of this project along with a significant number of other pages on a wide variety of subjects.”

The BBC’s funding public was not informed whether that “journalists’ guide to facts and terminology” – which had been made available to all on the recommendation of the BBC Governors’ independent panel report on the impartiality of BBC coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2006 – was still in use. Many, including ourselves, were therefore not sure whether its content could be references in complaints that needed to be made to the BBC.

An answer to those questions now appears to have presented itself.

The webpage of the BBC News style guide now includes a section titled ‘Israel and the Palestinians’:

That link leads to a page which appears to have been added on November 15th 2022:

No explanation is provided as to why that style guide was not available to the general public online for over a year and a half or why it has suddenly been republished at this juncture.
SUCCESS: HonestReporting Prompts CNN to Sever Ties With ‘#TeamHitler’ Producer
Several days ago, HonestReporting exposed Idris Muktar Ibrahim, a CNN producer who proudly declared himself a supporter of “#TeamHitler” on Twitter while describing Hamas terrorists as “freedpm [sic] fighters… definding [sic] their land.”

After HonestReporting notified CNN of their producer’s offensive social media history, a spokesperson immediately assured us the matter was being investigated.

A deafening silence followed, however, leaving us wondering whether CNN was serious about dealing with an employee who glorified Adolf Hitler and lavished praise on a terrorist group.

We called on our readers to contact CNN and urge the network broadcaster to take action against Idris Muktar Ibrahim. Within hours, a CNN spokesperson responded in an email to HonestReporting with the following statement:
Idris was employed as a freelancer by CNN. We were not aware of these tweets, which were published before we began working with him. We have informed him that we will no longer be working with him in the future.”

Ibrahim is just the latest in a series of journalists whose anti-Jewish views have been brought to light by our editorial team. Over the last three months alone, we uncovered four antisemitic, anti-Israel journalists and successfully convinced reputable outlets, including The New York Times, to cut ties with several of them (see here, here, and here).

HonestReporting executive director Gil Hoffman praised CNN for having no tolerance for antisemitism.

“We at HonestReporting will continue to make sure that those who call for the annihilation of the Jewish people will not report the news about the Jewish state,” Hoffman said. “Like The New York Times, CNN was right to acknowledge that antisemitism is not fit to print.”

FBI Director: Jewish Community Under Threat ‘From All Sides’
“From our perspective, we see the Jewish community getting it from all sides,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday in a hearing on threats to the homeland. “Not only have they long been a target of foreign terrorist organizations…but then, in addition to that, they’re of course the target of domestic violent extremists.”

Speaking of antisemitic extremism in response to a question from Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Wray noted that 63% of all religiously motivated violent extremism incidents in the United States were motivated by antisemitism, against a Jewish population that totals only 2.4% of the American public.

Both Director Wray and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who was also testifying at the hearing, said they would support a national strategy to combat antisemitism.

Wray added that while the statistics on rising antisemitic incidents are “stark,” the increases are partly the result of improved reporting, even as under-reporting remains a problem. “Frankly, the Jewish community has been ahead of other communities that are victims in reporting historically. So we have been trying to preach the importance of reporting and we have seen reporting coming up,” he said.
CAA demands resignation of CPS chief and explores legal options as charges are dropped against all suspects in “F the Jews…rape their daughters” convoy
Campaign Against Antisemitism has demanded that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Max Hill KC, “immediately explain this decision or resign” and is exploring its legal options after the JC reported that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had dropped all charges against the remaining suspects in a notorious convoy that drove through London last May.

As fighting flared in Gaza, a convoy waving the flag of the Palestinian Authority set off from the north of England, heading into London. Men in one of the cars shouted from a megaphone: “F*** the Jews…f*** all of them. F*** their mothers, f*** their daughters, and show your support for Palestine.” The speaker went on to call listeners to “Rape their [the Jews’] daughters”. The incident took place a very short distance from a synagogue and was condemned by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.

The car was part of a convoy of some 200 cars displaying Palestinian Authority flags which started in Bradford, passing through Sheffield and Leicester down the M1 motorway before veering into Hendon and Golders Green, two North London neighbourhoods with large Jewish populations. According to witnesses, convoy participants shouted abuse at Jewish passersby, including: “Free Palestine! Go back to Poland”.

The astounding news of the dropped charges against Mohammed Iftikhar Hanif, 27, and Jawaad Hussain, 24, comes four months after the announcement in July by the CPS that it had dropped charges against Asif Ali, 25, and Adil Mota, 26, who had also until then been suspected of being involved.

This now means that all charges against the four original suspects have been dropped.
Shots Fired at Jewish Memorial Center Housed in Former Synagogue in Germany
German police have launched an investigation after four bullets were fired on Thursday night at the Old Synagogue in the western city of Essen. No-one was injured in the incident.

A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia told the Judische Allgemeine newspaper that the four shots were fired at the building at 11.40 pm on Thursday night. According to local police, CCTV images of the area around the synagogue show a man in the vicinity, but the quality of the recordings is reportedly too poor to identify him.

A Byzantine structure that was first consecrated in 1913, the Old Synagogue survived the ravages of Nazi rule and now houses a museum and memorial center. The shots were fired at the neighboring rabbi’s house, which is now the site of the Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute for German-Jewish History at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

News of the attack brought instant condemnation from German politicians and Jewish leaders.

“The attack on the old synagogue in Essen shakes me deeply,” said Herbert Reul, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister. “The existing video recordings are now being evaluated at full speed. State security is involved.”
Antisemitic Attacks Continue in London’s Stamford Hill: Brick Thrown Through Synagogue Window
The spate of antisemitic attacks in London’s Stamford Hill neighborhood continued on Friday with a brick thrown through a synagogue window.

According to Shomrim (Stamford Hill), a neighborhood watch group that protects London’s Hasidic Jewish community, an unknown man threw the brick through the synagogue window during evening prayers.

In a separate incident three Jewish girls walking home from school on Amhurst Park road, also in Stamford Hill, were confronted by two men seemingly trying to attack them while shouting “Jew,” according to Shomrim.

The Algemeiner has reached out to London’s Metropolitan Police for additional information.

The incidents are the latest examples of what Shomrim has described as a “hate crimes pandemic” directed at the large Hasidic community in Stamford Hill and the surrounding borough of Hackney in north London. The London Metropolitan Police have recorded 487 antisemitic hate crimes so far this year with 108 occurring in Hackney, the second most of any of London’s 32 boroughs behind the London Borough of Barnet, which also has a large, prominent Jewish community.
Jewish day schools in Pennsylvania, Texas evacuated over bomb threats
Two Jewish day schools in Philadelphia and Texas were evacuated this week after bomb threats were made to the institutions.

A parent at the Austin Jewish Academy said they were told on Monday that an individual had called the school to say there was a bomb in one of the hallways.

The students were evacuated from the building, but no device was found during a police sweep.

On Wednesday, the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania was evacuated for a number of hours, The Forward reported.

According to the report, the school told parents that students were evacuated after receiving “multiple concerning calls.”

However, Michael Balaban, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, told the outlet that it was not believed the school was targeted specifically for being a Jewish educational institution.
Far Right Party Withdraws Bid to Chair French Parliament’s Antisemitism Study Group
The far-right French National Rally (RN) political party has abandoned its attempt to obtain the chair of the French parliament’s study group on antisemitism in the wake of a furious protest from the country’s Jewish community.

At a meeting on November 8 to determine which parties would chair the 80 study groups for French parliamentarians to intervene on issues ranging from wine to hunting to video games, the RN applied for the chair of the antisemitism group. An outgrowth of the neo-fascist National Front (FN), whose leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, infamously described the Holocaust as a “minor detail of the Second World War”, the RN has in recent years attempted to distance itself from its roots under the tutelage of Le Pen’s estranged daughter, Marine Le Pen.

However, the Jewish community has consistently rejected the RN’s overtures. News of the RN’s attempt to chair the antisemitism study group was roundly rejected by Crif, the community’s representative body.

“If this were to happen, Crif and the Jewish institutions would never participate in this masquerade,” Yonathan Arfi, Crif’s chair, tweeted. “It would be unacceptable ineptitude and manipulation.”
Woman reportedly yells “f Jew b ” after mistaking Christmas decorations for Star of David
A woman reportedly shouted antisemitic vitriol after coming across a house that she believed to be adorned with a Star of David.

However, the Kensal Rise house was in fact decorated with Christmas ornaments which the woman mistook for a Jewish symbol.

The woman reportedly yelled: “Oh my god, look, they’re Jews. Err,“f****** Jew b*******.”

Footage of the incident was posted to the social media platform Nextdoor by one of the residents of the house.

“My son heard this from his room and it was caught on my Nest doorbell last night,” the resident said. “What they were looking at was an old rustic star Christmas decoration I have never taken down which evoked this antisemitic abuse.

“I’m not Jewish but we can all agree this is hate speech and is appalling.”

Another Nextdoor user said: “Regardless of whether you’re Jewish or not. It’s despicable! It makes me very concerned for my lovely Jewish friends, who are nothing but kind and giving.”
Israel and Jordan Agree to Clean Polluted Jordan River Together
Israel and Jordan on Thursday signed a declaration of intent to jointly work on the ecological rehabilitation and sustainable development of the polluted Jordan River.

“The signing of this joint declaration is an expression of the close relationship between man and nature,” stated Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg. “It is also an expression of the connection between Israel and Jordan, neighboring countries with a river flowing between them, and is of great importance for our shared future in the region, especially in an era of global and regional changes that endanger us all.”

The advancement of the rehabilitation of the Jordan River, which runs from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, the natural boundary separating Israel and Jordan is of interest to both countries due to its rich historical heritage, diverse biological ecosystem and as a tourist attraction, Israel’s Environmental Protection said in a statement.

In the declaration signed at the UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt between representatives of the two respective governments, it was acknowledged that saving the Jordan River, which due to effects of climate change suffers from a decline in water levels and scarce natural water resources, requires “transboundary action.”

“A river free from hazards, clean and healthy, will provide health and prosperity for all the populations surrounding it and for all those who visit it,” said Zandberg. “Cleaning up the pollutants and hazards, restoring water flow and strengthening the natural ecosystems will help us prepare and adapt to the climate crisis.”
Hen Mazzig’s “The wrong kind of Jew” gets positive response
Hen Mazzig , whose grandparents came from Tunisia and Iraq, has more than 155,000 followers between Instagram and Facebook, and he spends his time posting his support for Israel and the Jewish people. Now, he’s released “The Wrong Kind of Jew: A Mizrahi Manifesto,” – part memoir, part proclamation about how Mizrahi Jews are often misunderstood and not included in Ashkenazi-dominated conversations . Article by Kylie Ora Lobell in the Jewish Journal of LA:

“We hear a lot about the Holocaust and Soviet Jews,” he said. “One community that has been largely ignored is Mizrahi Jews. I struggle with it and, in the book, I dig deep into why we’re being ignored.”

In his book, Mazzig writes: “We’re not only unfamiliar, our culture shatters stereotypes and unspoken rules. Meanwhile, our story derails the narrative many want to propagate about Jews, antisemitism, and most controversially, Israel. We break the expectations many hold about Jews and race, the Middle East and religion, and even politics and oppression.”

Thankfully, the response from the Ashkenazi community has been positive.

“So many Ashkenazi Jews who are my friends are interested in this story and want to discuss it,” Mazzig said.

Currently, Mazzig splits his time between Tel Aviv, where he works at the organization he founded, The Tel Aviv Institute, and London, where his partner lives.

Along with posting about Mizrahi Jews and Israel, the author, who is gay, also discusses LGBTQ+ issues. One thing that bothers him is when people accuse Israel of “pinkwashing,” or promoting the country’s LGBTQ+ rights and support while “covering up” other atrocities they are allegedly committing.
How a Catholic university amassed a treasure trove of Jewish artifacts from the Bronx
A century ago, New York City’s northernmost borough was home to one of the largest concentrations of Jews in the world. That population has dwindled significantly since then, but the Bronx’s Fordham University, a Jesuit institution, has begun a project to collect artifacts of this Jewish community’s history, focusing on the minutiae of everyday life. Julia Gergely reports:

For the last three years, Fordham has been collecting and cataloging items that detail a once-thriving Jewish community in the Bronx: yearbooks full of Jewish last names, bar-mitzvah invitations, phonebooks full of Jewish-owned businesses—all the simple transactions that define an era in history.

During the first half of the 20th century, Jewish life thrived in the Bronx. There were 260 registered synagogues in 1940, and the borough produced some of the biggest Jewish names in show business, fashion, literature and more: the designer Ralph Lauren, the politician Bella Abzug, the novelist E.L. Doctorow, the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, the Miss America Bess Myerson, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Robert Lefkowitz.

At the community’s peak in 1930, the Bronx was approximately 49-percent Jewish, according to the borough’s official historian, Lloyd Ultan. South of Tremont Avenue, the number reached 80 percent. Most of the Jewish Bronx was of East European descent; many were first generation Americans whose parents had immigrated and lived on the Lower East Side, but who could now afford to live in less cramped neighborhoods with more trees and wider streets.

The archive at Fordham is one of the only physical collections of everyday material from Jewish residents of the borough, according to Magda Teter, the co-director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the university, who spearheaded the project. . . . “They may not be the most beautiful things, but we are interested in what people actually used and lived with,” Teter said.
Trove of publications by WWII Jewish soldiers from Palestine gets new home at NLI
As news of increased pogroms committed against Jews in Europe reached British Mandate Palestine in 1939, David Ben-Gurion, leader of the Jewish community and later Israel’s first prime minister, called on Jewish youth to “assist the British in the war as if there were no White Paper [British Mandate policy limiting Jewish immigration] and… resist the White Paper as if there were no war. ”

His call was widely heeded: To do their part in fighting the Axis powers and save European Jewry from the Nazis, 40,000 young Jews from pre-state Israel served in the British Army. This was almost 10% of the Yishuv’s population at the time.

The National Library of Israel recently acquired at auction a collection of 40 Hebrew-language journals, newspapers, and booklets produced by units of Palestinian Jews in the British Army during World War II.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that an entire generation left the country to serve. It was a huge phenomenon. It was also the first time that women could participate in the fighting effort,” said Dr. Hezi Amiur, curator of the Israel collection at the National Library.

Young people enlisted with the British Army — save for those who chose to join the Palmach, the Yishuv’s underground army fighting the British and Arabs in Palestine.

A drawing of Lady Justice watching as Hitler is crushed by the American, Soviet and British flags appears in a Jewish unit’s publication. The words say, ‘The day of reckoning draws near.’ (Courtesy of the National Library of Israel)

Each Jewish unit produced its own periodical. And in that era, young people were accustomed to communicating through the written word. Having grown up in the Yishuv’s educational system, the soldiers had excellent Hebrew.

“In some cases, no copies survived from a particular unit’s publication. In other cases, single copies trickled in over time through donations or auction purchases. To be able to buy a single lot containing examples of so many of these publications was really an unusual and important opportunity,” Amiur said in an interview with The Times of Israel at his office at the library on the campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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